All posts by KM4LWL


Just a friendly reminder that the ARES meeting is Thursday, 8-10-17 at 7 p.m. at the EOC on N. Highland Street in Gastonia.

We will be discussing the recent FEMA SET and also learn all about the Yaesu FTDX-1200 HF radio.

If you are an amateur radio operator or, you have technical bent and a heart for public service, please consider joining ARES! You can serve the community in a marvelous way by providing emergency communications in times of need.

Hope to see you there!



Civil Air Patrol & GCARS/GAARC/GC ARES/RACES Team Up!

On August 1, 2017, GCARS, GAARC & GC ARES teamed up with the Gastonia Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol.  At the request of the squadron leadership, we presented a nearly 2 hour program introducing the group (and in the main, the cadets) to amateur radio and its many facets: radio history & theory, transmission modes, radio applications and new technology. We demonstrated HF, VHF, and UHF radios, using analog and digital voice and data modes.

Annlette, KV4WB, GCARS President (and GAARC and GCARES member) smiles as she helps the CAP cadets learn about amateur radio


Bill Stevenson, AJ4JZ, GCARS VP and GC ARES Emergency Coordinator (and GAARC member) presents amateur radio to the Gastonia CAP squadron

The cadets of the squadron were very responsive, asking many bright questions and displaying fine manners and discipline. A couple of the adult members of the squadron are hams and they enjoyed the update on many of the new technologies in amateur radio today.

It was a great night- we greatly appreciate the opportunity to visit with the Gastonia CAP. We have been invited back to the Gastonia CAP on November 28, 2017, to give a presentation on “Satellite Communications”.  Cheerfully, we look forward to working again with this great group, a group that shares our passion for public service and technology!

Check out the Gastonia CAP Composite Squadron’s FaceBook page. 



2017 Winter Field Day Results Finally!



Hey GCARS Family and Friends,

Just found out (just was posted on their site recently) that GCARS did very well in the 2017 Winter Field Day Contest.

GCARS placed 10th overall in the Outdoor category and 5th in the “2 Oscar” category, with a score of 9044! This is a great result for our first WFD and very casual contesting style! 

Great job to all those who participated in Winter Field Day 2017!

(If you were wondering about ARRL (Summer Field Day 2017), the log deadline is 7-25-17, and we should have the results in about a month and a half afterwards).

7-22-17: 70 cm Fox hunt! (Hidden transmitter location contest)

No, we are not really chasing foxes! We are going to try to find a hidden transmitter on the 70 cm band. NC0G, George, will be our venerable “fox” and try to out smart the participants as he hides the transmitter somewhere in Gaston County. It’s hide-and-seek on steroids! Much fun, but also with a practical use: it sharpens our radio-direction finding skills to assist with public services, such as locating lost seniors, illegal transmitters causing harmful interference, or even downed aviators.

NC0G, a.k.a., “the Fox”

The “fox hunt” will begin at 10 a.m., July 22, 2017. There will be a preliminary breakfast for the teams to meet and greet at the restaurant known as “Grits and Greens” in Lowell, NC at 8:30 a.m.

Anyone is welcome to participate: you don’t need to be a licensed ham to receive a signal (only to transmit one).  Come on out, it will be a lot of fun!

Below is an example of a directional antenna we built for the 70 cm band:

GCARS President, Annlette, KV4WB, holding a 70 cm “Moxon” antenna that she built.

GCARS Meeting 7-3-17 and Antenna Build!

Greeting GCARS Members and Those Who Are Interested in Radio:

Just a reminder that our July meeting is this Monday, July 3, 2017, at 7 p.m., upstairs at 190 S. Oakland Street, Gastonia, NC.

This month, we plan on building a “Moxon” style antenna (gain of at least 5.5 db) for 70 cm (440 MHz). This will be a very useful antenna for anyone who has a “440” rig, a DMR rig, or who plans on participating in the “440” fox hunt later in the month.

Everything is ready as far as materials and this is FREE build (no cost to you, but any $ help is appreciated).  This build will be available to the first 15 interested people who attend the meeting or send me an email before hand ( if you don’t have it, my email is on lead page of GCARS website: callsign- AJ4JZ).

I would ask that a couple of people bring soldering irons (very minimal soldering involved) and maybe some pliers to bend coat hangers (yes, they will work for elements!).


Bill, AJ4JZ

Here’s what it looks like:

70 cm Moxon antenna

REMINDER: ARES/RACES Meeting Thursday, June 8 @ 7 p.m.


Another friendly reminder that the ARES/RACES meeting is Thursday night, 6-8-2017, at 7 p.m. held at the Gaston County Emergency Operation Center, 605 N. Highland St. Gastonia, NC. (go around to the back and ask to be let in). It is open to all licensed amateur radio operators who desire to serve the public in times of emergency and need.

We hope to discuss our new DMR repeater, 2017 Field Day,  and practice EmComm digital modes.

Hope to see you there!


Bill Stevenson,


New International DMR Net on Saturdays!

NEW on Saturdays:

A new net is the “World Wide” Net on Talk Group 91 (Brandmeister World Wide), Saturdays at 12:00 p.m. (E.D.T.) local time, on our new N4GAS DMR Repeater. This is run by net control in different countries, like England or Germany. We hope you will make some time and check into this international net.

If you don’t have a DMR radio yet, but would like to listen in on the fun, go here for an in-browser listening experience:

A.R.E.S Simulated Emergency Test 5-23-17

The Gaston County A.R.E.S. is going to conduct a “Simulated Emergency Test” (SET), Tuesday, May 23 at 1400 (2 p.m. local). It will begin on the 147.120 MHz (100 Hz tone) N4GAS repeater and then proceed to other frequencies as Net Control directs. It will include FM repeater work, FM simplex work, D-Star simplex work, DMR repeater work and DMR simplex work.

Headlining this test will be the debut of the ARES station that is a new installation at the City of Gastonia Police Department. We will be testing the station’s reception and capabilities.

This will be a directed formal net. If you would like to participate, please check in with Net Control at 1400 (2 p.m. local) and follow the directions.


Bill Stevenson


Gaston County ARES/RACES EC